Review Blog

Oct 31 2012

Ghost buddy: mind if I read your mind? by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver

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Scholastic, 2012. ISBN 978 1 407132 28 7.
(Age: 10+) Humour. Ghost. A highly amusing little romp with Billy having moved school and home when Mum remarries, finds a ghost already taken up residence in his bedroom. Hoover Porterhouse, or the Hoove, as he likes to be known, cannot help but interfere in Billy's life. He often speaks to Billy, giving him unsolicited advice, for which Billy has no answer, but seen by the nosey next door neighbour, Rod to be talking to himself. At school it is no different as the Hoove is often there, egging him on, giving advice, especially when the teacher asks the students to prepare a talk for the next week. Billy is bereft, he loathes standing up in front of his class, and cannot think of anything to talk about. His stepfather recommends he talk about flossing, and Billy happens upon a skill he learn many years before, saying the alphabet backwards. The Hoove cannot believe he is serious and so gets him to pretend to be mind reading with the Hoove's help. But things never go as we want them to go, so some very funny things happen to upset Billy's life even more.
This is an easy to read story redolent of the ups and downs of school life and life with a new parent and sibling. The ghost does not help Billy in his attempts to fit in, and the hilarious events roll along taking the reader with them.
Winkler, known for his portrayal of the character, the Fonze in Happy Days, has written a series of books called, Hank Zipper, and this is the first of a series about Billy called Ghost buddy.
Fran Knight

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